Letters to the Editor - Jan. 21
Published: Wednesday, January 21, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 21, 2009 at 1:40 a.m.
A long way to go
As I read Governor Charlie Crist's Jan. 19 Speaking Out about how Dr. King would be proud of the progress our nation has made, I couldn't help but think outside of the box.
While I'm grateful to be a citizen of our country and enjoy the freedoms and opportunities it has to offer, I'm also aware of the harsh reality millions of Americans still face.
Though I know Dr. King would consider the inauguration of the first African American President as wonderful way to celebrate his 80th birthday, the path to the promise land he envisioned cannot be completed just by one man reaching the mountain top.
His "I Have A Dream" speech 45 years ago is regarded as one of the greatest demonstrations for freedom in American history. Yet years later, Dr. King declared the dream he had that day had turned into a nightmare...which America has yet to wake up from.
From the Vietnam War and assassination of JFK, to the gang violence in his final marches, to the plague of poverty, his hope for humanity seemed to subside toward his untimely death.
Though Barack Obama has restored that hope, the challenge we face ahead is just as difficult as the one Dr. King did. Our country is trillions of dollars in debt due to economic exploitation, millions of Americans are without health care and our government's militarism has led to two wars which we spend billions a month to fund.
Citizens of every class are losing their jobs and having their homes foreclosed, American students are behind the rest of the world and racism still exists as evident from the Jena Six, the KKK and the illegal immigration issue. Gang violence and drug trade is more pervasive than ever, and we've failed to ensure fairness in our criminal justice system.
But we shall overcome.
Zachary Arash Abolverdi,
Why spend so much?
Was it really necessary to spend a record-setting $150 million on Obama's inauguration? Was this use of funds consistent with Obama's promise of "Change"?
With the worst economic climate since the Great Depression, didn't Obama promise to fight for struggling Americans by bringing a fiscally responsible government? Is this what he had in mind: $150 million on his inauguration parties?
Here we are on the verge of a depression, and the first thing Obama does is to set a new record for party spending?
While so many Americans are losing their jobs and their homes? Is anyone angry? Where's the "Change"?
We could have used the $150 million to feed America's homeless instead of using the money to feed Obama's ego.
The rest of the story
As usual, the propagandists of right-wing news organizations make false comparisons, which are then picked up on by other media and the public and turned into little factoids, creating lots of heat, but no light.
The latest example is the brouhaha over inauguration costs.
Right-wingers report only Bush's inauguration costs for the January 2005, festivities (e.g., the various inaugural balls). But they throw everything, including the security costs (which are the majority of the overall expenses) into the figures for the current inauguration.
In her letter of Jan. 19, Sharon Smith repeats these false comparisons between Bush 2005 and Obama 2009. The difference in amounts is all, or almost all, simply the security costs that the right-wingers leave out of the Bush figures.
Despite what Smith says, the mainstream press, including The New York Times, has reported on the Obama inauguration expenses. Obama's costs appear to be in line with previous inaugurations, although final figures won't be known for months.
Considering that five to 10 times as many people came to the nation's capital for this inauguration than for Bush's four years ago, I'd even say Obama's cost controls are better than Bush's were.
Robert W. Emerson,
Let it go, Ron
To Ron Cunningham: I made a new year's resolution to become a better and kinder person so I've had to settle down considerably after reading your venomous column of Jan. 18, "The long goodbye."
It seems that many like you simply can't let it go. You didn't like George Bush from the start, and there was nothing he could have ever done that could have possibly changed your opinion.
If you have any capability of being at all honest with yourself, you know that's true.
If Bill Clinton had the guts to rid the world of bin Laden when he had the opportunity, perhaps we would have never lost all those lives on Sept. 11. Perhaps then George Bush would have been a better and possibly a very different president. I don't know, and neither do you.
Perhaps if Democrats had chosen better candidates than Al Gore and John Kerry we would have had a better choice in the first place.
Many, as I, believe that if George Bush did not have the courage to take an unpopular war to Iraq and Afghanistan we would have been attacked again on our soil. But you would never even consider giving him that kind of credit.
I certainly hope Obama keeps us as safe. I am very happy to have him as my president and believe that he is the best choice at this time. Yet he will certainly have his own failures and shortcomings.
I wonder if you will have the courage to comment on those failures as well. I have to hold back from writing what I really think about you, but I'm going to stick to my resolution and be a kinder person. Perhaps you can be as well.
Don't make me laugh
I have to laugh when people (like columnist Deroy Murdock, Jan. 17) list as one of President Bush's "triumphs" that there hasn't been another attack like Sept. 11.
But Sept. 11 did happen on Bush's watch, and after warnings that he ignored, and after the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center that showed it was a target.
Who knows why there hasn't been another attack? The point is that there was that one awful disaster that he could have prevented. Hardly a triumph.
Norman N. Holland,
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